This was the redemption time for RCB for that humiliation in 2017. Siraj’s test match length bowling came to the fore for RCB as he bowled two wicket maidens, one of them being double wicket maiden, such was the opening bowling spell from RCB bowlers.The batsmen put the finishing touches for the RCB, although they would’ve liked to see some runs from Finch which didn’t happen. Gurkeerat got to spend some time in the middle. In the end it was every bit of the cakewalk that it was expected to be, giving their NRR a huge boost. With seven wins, they’re pretty much assured of a spot in the playoffs. KKR, though, find themselves within range of the chasing pack now. Their batting machinery has creaked and groaned throughout the season, before going completely kaput today against some excellent Test-match style bowling with a bit of swing on offer. And this comes at a very tricky time in the tournament, where you don’t want to make any drastic changes. Much for Morgan to think about.
First 30 games: Bat 1st won 21 | Bat 2nd won 7 | Tied 2
Last nine: Bat 1st won 0 | Bat 2nd won 7 | Tied 2
Eoin Morgan | KKR (losing) skipper: Being 4/5 down early on isn’t the position we wanted to be in. RCB bowled well and probably looking at the conditions, we should have bowled first. We will learn our lessons and move on in the next game. It was a question of backing the young Indian guys who showed glimpses of talent and potential. They (RCB bowlers) managed to exploit anything that was on offer and given the nature of the tournament every time you have to be at your best against every team. Hopefully they (Narine and Russell) will be available around the corner and we know when guys of that caliber, particularly all-rounders are available, things will be different. Hopefully they will be available soon.
Kohli: It was a late call to be honest (to give Siraj the new ball). Was thinking of giving Washy. When we got here, we saw the surface, it looked drier. At the toss I said that it was a good toss to lose. We would have batted first but the pitch just seemed to look much better under lights. We had the option of the plan to start with Washi and bring Morris in the second over, then we thought let’s give Siraj the new ball with Morris. Let him set the tone and then let Siraj try and swing the ball. I obviously have thought about the things we can do on the field. The management have brought in a proper culture. We have a plan A, we have a plan B, and people are executing it that’s why it’s looking good. Contrary to the public belief, I don’t think a lot of people have belief in RCB. I do, guys in the changeroom do and that’s all that matters. We are just here to execute our plans in place. We do have the skills. You can have the best players in the world but if you don’t have the belief then you won’t have results on the field. Morris is loving the responsibility. He likes to be in a leadership role within the team. Even against Kings, he tried to york Gayle, that showed heart. He never loses belief and that’s contagious. His energy is amazing. A great, great addition to our squad. (On Siraj’s performance) Last year he had a tough year. Lot of people went quite hard at him. This time around he worked hard, he was really determined. He’s seeing the result now and we want him to continue.
Mohammad Siraj is the man of the match.